Discharge for 159mph PC

#1
BBC link

A policeman who drove at 159mph on a motorway has been found guilty of dangerous driving and given an absolute discharge.
Cameras on board Pc Mark Milton's unmarked car clocked him driving at high speeds on the M54 in Shropshire.

He was originally cleared of the same charge but the High Court overturned his acquittal and ordered a retrial.

But despite his "eye watering" speeds the judge at Ludlow Magistrates' Court gave Pc Milton an absolute discharge.

District Judge Peter Wallis said the 38-year-old West Mercia Police officer had "suffered enough" with two-and-a-half years of court proceedings.

The West Mercia Police Federation said it was "disappointed" with the guilty verdict and would lodge an appeal.

Milton's solicitor, David Twigg, said the appeal would challenge the judge's view that his client's advance driving skills were irrelevant to the charge.

"We are pleased with the outcome but not with the conviction," he said.

But Andy White, federation chairman, confirmed the Pc, from Telford, Shropshire, was "still in a driving position and still employed" by West Mercia Police.

He said: "They (the force) will consider a disciplinary process which will have to be a decision made by West Mercia and that hasn't been made yet."

Ludlow magistrates were shown the footage of the West Mercia police officer speeding on the motorway at 0300 BST in a 3.2l Vauxhall Vectra on 5 December 2003.

Prosecutors said Pc Milton, described as "the creme de la creme" of police drivers, had also driven at 131mph on a nearby A-road.

Pat Sullivan, prosecuting, admitted there had been some dispute over the speeds the camera had recorded but said it was accepted they were "broadly" accurate.

During the trial, Insp David McWilliam, based at Telford police station with Pc Milton, said the constable had told him he was experimenting with the Vauxhall Vectra because he had not driven it before.

Pc Milton, an advanced driver, has always maintained he was familiarising himself with the car and the reason for his high-speed driving was to practise the skills he had learnt.

In a statement read out in court, he said: "I was advised to familiarise myself with vehicles, so when there was a need to respond at speed you were aware of its performance."
At least he's been found guilty. Hopefully his police force will follow up with disciplinary procedures.

His statement of - "I was advised to familiarise myself with vehicles, so when there was a need to respond at speed you were aware of its performance." - doesn't hold water. If it was a police policy then surely it would be written down.
 
#2
-Speeding at 159mph
-Shooting innocent people on trains.
-Kicking in peoples doors and arresting people who are 'suspicious'
-Dressing like a stormtrooper
-Never having to do any physical exercise

Being in the police in real life is better than being in the police on a tv show. Do you still get a 'shootah' and a Ford Granada?
 
#3
Somebody could have easily swerved out in front of him, either mistakenly or to avoid someone else. At that speed, it doesn't matter how advanced you are - the chances are you may not respond in time. It's totally reckless behaviour from someone who should be protecting the public, not endangering them - and should have been reflected in a ban and a lengthy prison sentence.
 
#4
Pat Sullivan, prosecuting, admitted there had been some dispute over the speeds the camera had recorded but said it was accepted they were "broadly" accurate.

Broadly accurate!!! You cannot prosecute a speeding motorist with a broadly accurate speed camera. So the camera in the car was not calibrated corectly ehh?????
 
#5
The good news about this, is that although its p~ssed off a lot of motorists, the anti-motorist speed camera nazis are even more p~ssed off. Hoorah!
 
#6
This smacks of one rule for them, one rule for us. As someone who was in a car that got flashed at 44mph in a 40 zone (motorway roadworks at 11am on a Sunday morning, with only 1 HGV in the distance), this is galling and shows the dichotomy that has developed between the police behaviour and and their treatment of the public. Do as I say, not do as I do. Fcuk 'em!
 
#7
He was grassed up by civilian fitter that worked in the garage, after the camera on the car was switched on by accident after he went over a speed ramp exiting the police station.

If he is not allowed to test the car to it's limits how is he supposed to know how it will handle when the sh1t hits the fan, not like he was testing it at rush hour.

Sparky awaits incoming.

Sparky
 
#8
sparkysapper said:
He was grassed up by civilian fitter that worked in the garage, after the camera on the car was switched on by accident after he went over a speed ramp exiting the police station.

If he is not allowed to test the car to it's limits how is he supposed to know how it will handle when the sh1t hits the fan, not like he was testing it at rush hour.

Sparky awaits incoming.

Sparky
Thats why we have test tracks and proving grounds.
 
#9
WhiteHorse said:
sparkysapper said:
He was grassed up by civilian fitter that worked in the garage, after the camera on the car was switched on by accident after he went over a speed ramp exiting the police station.

If he is not allowed to test the car to it's limits how is he supposed to know how it will handle when the sh1t hits the fan, not like he was testing it at rush hour.

Sparky awaits incoming.

Sparky
Thats why we have test tracks and proving grounds.
I imagine that as much as they try they couldn't simulate the same conditions as he would have come across driving around Telford.
Personally i don't have a problem with what he did, nice to know that he could handle his car under such conditions, as said on another thread chav's drive at these speeds and get away with it and they haven't got the skill thet this police officer has.

Sparky
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
If memory serves, he was clocked at 2am, a time he was unlikely to encounter a "lot" of traffic. As an advanced driver, it is possible he may have to drive at high speeds, so therefore he has to practice from time to time. I would admit that 156mph is bloody quick, but still he may have to some day in the future. Fast driving isnt just something you do once and not need to practice again. After all, you pass your APWT during basic training but still have to shoot on a regular basis...
 
#11
159Mph on the M54 and 131Mph on the A5 and dual carrigeway A442, at 3 O'clock in the morning with good road conditions, i remember from the original trial, the court had the video tape assessed by expert traffic officers who decided at no point had he endangered the public by his driving.

Just typical thet he has been tried by media and has had to suffer for 2 1/2 years and had to wait to see if he was going to lose his job.

Sparky
 
#12
sparkysapper said:
159Mph on the M54 and 131Mph on the A5 and dual carrigeway A442, at 3 O'clock in the morning with good road conditions, i remember from the original trial, the court had the video tape assessed by expert traffic officers who decided at no point had he endangered the public by his driving.

Just typical thet he has been tried by media.

Sparky
So it was in the dark as well! 159 thats close on 2 and 3/4 miles a minute, how far ahead do your headlights go? 1 mile? could he stop in 20 seconds from 159, I doubt it. Maybe we should encourage Police officers to rush around shooting people as ranges are not like the real thing, oh wait, they already do that.
 
#13
If he needed to test the car then follow SOPs and make a request and get authorisation from a senior officer.
That way he's covered.

I can think of no circumstances when an officer would need to travel at 159mph.
Hot pursuit?
No. Home Office policy is follow and observe.
Keeping up or in sight isn't that difficult.

I was given permission to travel at up to 130mph and, with blues in broad daylight on a dual carriageway, that was enough to follow and observe.

Attending an incident?
No. 130 mph is enough. IMHO

This guy broke the law.
He was found guilty.
He got an ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE?? WTF?

The 2 don't go together!
He should have been given a conditional discharge at the very least.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#14
And the 'Powers that be' wonder why the polis are not held in the same esteem as previously.

I don't want to get into the Monty Python/Private Polismans' Ball scetch, but it appears that if a boy/girl in blue tries to keep the streets clean of chavs they will be hunted down by the 'do gooders' of society. Hence fewer plods on the beat.

Yet if a plod decides to:

a. take a new, untested, car onto the highroads
b. and go at a speed well in excess of the legal limit,
c. without having a presence from his colleagues (those in white hats who love pulling drivers over)
d. who can clear the area he is driving in, thus making it safer ............

he gets off with it. :cry:
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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#15
sparkysapper said:
159Mph on the M54 and 131Mph on the A5 and dual carrigeway A442, at 3 O'clock in the morning with good road conditions, i remember from the original trial, the court had the video tape assessed by expert traffic officers who decided at no point had he endangered the public by his driving.

Just typical thet he has been tried by media and has had to suffer for 2 1/2 years and had to wait to see if he was going to lose his job.

Sparky
Not into the latin stuff - but in essence 'who guards the guards'? In this instance all supporting evidence seem to come from the people who have most experience in fast driving - the police :cry: (ambulance drivers, firemen ?)

I would like to know why the police officers I know think that this is a very dodgy case and that the guy, going on what is being reported, would have been emptied from his job in normald circumstances.
 
#16
I can think of no circumstances when an officer would need to travel at 159mph.
Hot pursuit?
No. Home Office policy is follow and observe.
Keeping up or in sight isn't that difficult.
Isn't this recent policy because of the accidents from inexperienced police drivers in persuit of the chav car thieves?


Sparky
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#17
Enough is nough. The question is

Who is above the Law?

This guy has been to trial twice, and both times it seems that he and his Boss seem to think that the Law only refers to 'others'. He has now been, very gently. found guilty.

Sorry - not much sympathy with him - and before you ask, I have never (to date) been pulled over by the traffic nazis.
 
#19
Just typical thet he has been tried by media and has had to suffer for 2 1/2 years and had to wait to see if he was going to lose his job.
The point is he was speeding at well over DOUBLE the national speed limit on A roads. If Police training policy was for officers to drive at 159mph on public roads it would be the Police in the docks and not the officer. But this officer took it upon himself to drive this fast.
 
#20
I live in the Telford area. I've also read all of the posts on this thread.

Long and short is that 2 points of view exist here:

1. The need to be able to apprehend people who commit crime and attempt to evade capture by driving at these speeds, thus keeping me, the taxpayer safe, and
2. The Polices' SOPs that are in place to prevent (or reduce to a level of acceptable [?] risk) ny risk to the public by local officers

Long and short is that if we are being tested in our weapons proficiency, are we not sent to the range with a qualified Weapons Instructor to coach and guide us? In other words, we are taken to a safe place to maintain our skills to a good standard by an approved, experienced and authorised member of staff.

This guy has the skills but decided to do something like this off his own bat. No clearance from the Ops Room, no guidance from an Advanced Pursuit Instructor from Traffic Branch and NO use of a safe area to conduct the "practice". I other words, outside of SOPs. After all, do fighter pilots simply jump into a Herc and expect the same reactions in th air? Do, they re-qualify and get signed off. Same should b the case for the new vehicle. Besides, if the car was new to him, why was he driving it so fast before getting briefed? He doesn't know the vehicles' capabilities. So nwhy let him find out on the highways?

I did a search in calculating stopping distances and this can be generally done with the formula: x² ÷ 20 + x = Overall stopping distance in feet, where x = speed.

At the speed quoted, 169 mph, the stopping distance (estimated, and bear in mind this formula is for "reasonable speeds") is something like:

169² ÷ 20 + 169 = 1597.05 feet...

This calculated into something like 1/3 of a mile OR 484 Metres to stop the vehicle!!

Now think about that in terms of the distances we shoot down the range. That 484m is the total amount of time spent with the brakes FULLY APPLIED and that's regardless of any crap on the road surface, any drivers that come out, a dog, cat or woe and betide a farm animal straying on the road, or even a drunk chap trying to find his way home (we've no doubt all been there!).

The guy cocked up badly. Like if we ND'd in the back of an APC. We'd get hammered for it regardless of the fact that we were a peacekeeper at the time. The guy should have been disciplined, put on parking meters for a year to clip the wings and then re-trained to use the resource but AFTER re-qualifying.

One of the roads mentioned goes less than 200m by my house and I'd feel safer if the weapon was pointing fully down-range until such time the practice has been concluded, if it's all the same to West Mercia Constabulary
 

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